Chris founded Blackwall Legal in 2015 with a view to providing a new, flexible, full-service, business law solution for clients in the Western Australian marketplace.  His experience across a diverse range of practice areas has helped to achieve this task: he has managed large distressed corporate restructure arrangements, listed company reconstructions, board disputes, substantial merger & acquisition transactions, large scale health projects, and has experience with ongoing compliance requirements, challenging commercial litigation, the drafting of legislation, and energy and resources projects on every continent.

Chris has acted for major accounting firms, several banks and other financiers, one of the world’s largest oil producers, the world’s oldest litigation funder, and many LSE- and ASX-listed companies.

He is Deputy Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s Insolvency and Reconstruction Committee and has lectured in commercial and corporate practice for the Piddington Society’s Practical Legal Training and for Leo Cussen Institute’s Articles Training Program.

In addition to his work in the law, Chris has a first-class honours degree in chemistry for research into communication between lawyers and scientists in both commercial and litigation settings.

Recent work

In recent times, Chris’s practice has focussed on primarily distressed companies, whether because the business is in financial difficulty or management differences.  His work often includes court proceedings and corporate transactions required to address them.  Chris works with senior counsel when required but has frequently appeared as lead counsel himself.

Some recent examples of his work include:

  • assisting the two-year receivership of the Cockatoo Island iron ore mine owned by Pluton Resources Limited, including running several sets of court proceedings and managing the ultimate disposal of the company’s assets to newly-incorporated Chinese group Cockatoo Island Mining Pty Ltd;
  • advising the board of a large mining company on a safe harbour process under section 588GA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), through a disposal by way of an 8-figure M&A transaction with the support of secured creditors to ensure the company’s business continued to operate as a going concern and maximum value was preserved for creditors;
  • acting for the liquidator of the general partner of a limited partnership running a winery business in the realisation and management of proceeds, including managing a series of disputes between partners and a number of court applications, including one to confirm the liquidator’s access to partnership assets and entitlement to dispose of those assets; and
  •  working with the administrators of an ASX-listed resources company to retain the company’s primary asset (an equity stake in an African gold mine), held by way of shares in a BVI-incorporated holding vehicle, despite escrow arrangements that would otherwise have seen the company’s asset repossessed.

Admission to Practice

Supreme Court of Western Australia

High Court of Australia

Membership & Professional Roles

Law Council of Australia
National Chair – Insolvency & Restructuring Committee
Ordinary Member – Business Law Section

Law Society of Western Australia
Chair – Insolvency & Restructuring Committee
Ordinary Member

Turnaround Management Association Australia
Committee Member (WA Branch)

Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA)
Professional Member

Healthy Hips Australia Limited
Non-Executive Director

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